A derogatory phrase, “UK beast,” has gained traction on social media, with some black women expressing concerns about being singled out. The term was notably directed at Nella Rose following an altercation with Fred Siriex on “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.” Describing women as “masculine and rude,” the insult has prompted discussions among black women about its perceived targeting.
The phrase originated in a 2022 viral post comparing French and UK women, suggesting UK women are akin to beasts. In recent months, its prevalence on social media has surged, leading to conversations on its impact, particularly on black women.
TikTok’s Anthonia Edomwande, who faced the term, sees it as degrading black women, reinforcing stereotypes of loud and dramatic behavior. The insult, she argues, becomes a means to bring down individuals based on their physical appearance and afro-centric features.
Hindia Andries, a beauty creator, notes the term targets a black girl’s appearance, especially if it deviates from conventional standards. Therefore, actress and director Kelechi Okafor, commenting on comments about Nella, expressed her horror at the beast-like comparisons and noted a historical trend of comparing black women to apes.
Dr. Kadian Pow, a lecturer in sociology and black studies, views the phrase as perpetuating misogynoir, targeted discrimination against black women. Terms aim to deny black women femininity, control behavior, and enforce conformity to societal expectations, as she explains.
Anthonia highlights the term’s origin with black men, now adopted by other races, raising concerns about potential racist usage. Dr. Pow rejects the argument that the phrase is about behaviour rather than race, emphasising its association with anti-blackness.
Encouraging black men to reflect on perpetuating derogatory terms, addressing their role, and taking responsibility in respecting black women.